can someone paraphrase lines 2795-2802 for Beowulf  



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caledon's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

One version translates this passage as:

The Lord everlasting, that He let me such treasures
Gain for my people ere death overtook me.
Since I’ve bartered the agèd life to me granted
For treasure of jewels, attend ye henceforward
He desires to be held in memory by his people.
The wants of the war-thanes; I can wait here no longer.
Another version translates:
King of Glories, eternal Ruler,
for the bright treasures I can see here,
that I might have gained such gifts as these
for the sake of my people before I died.
Now that I have given my old life-span
for this heap of treasures, you are to watch
the country's needs; I can stay no longer.
Beowulf is thanking God for giving him the opportunity to gain the dragon's hoard on behalf of his people.
However, he knows he has been mortally injured, and has basically exchanged his life for the treasure. He "cannot stay", i.e. he will die soon. He implies that Wiglaf will take his place as king.

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